Life-changing habits of pro footballers you can use

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What if I told you that you’ve been selected to play the final of a major football tournament in four weeks?

Permit yourself to indulge in that incredible fantasy for a moment and think about how the way you live your life could change over the next four weeks leading up to the big game.

Football could be entertaining and exciting especially if your side is winning. But behind the frenzy, passion, and glamour is the grind and toil that define what happens on match day.

For the better part of my teenage years, I was actively dreaming of becoming…

A Father’s Day Musings

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The year was 1997 and I had just secured admission to the university of calabar (southern Nigeria) to study accounting.

But there was a big problem threatening to abort the dream.

I had no sponsor and so could not raise the tuition, and no idea how to survive on campus with no money.

By this time, I was frantically looking for help. I went everywhere I could think of. Without the benefit of Google, I managed to track down one of my late father’s business partners. The man confirmed he knew my father, confirmed they started the business together, and…

After all, success and failure know no religion

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By age 18, my life was in a free fall. Everything that shouldn’t go wrong was broken beyond remedy.

One day, after an evening football training session, I noticed that the playground was being prepared for a gospel crusade. For reasons I can’t remember, I went back to that playground. That night, I had a life-changing encounter with God.

In my personal spiritual journey, I have been spiritually inspired by many great preachers from both my home country of Nigeria and elsewhere. Unfortunately, for a long time, I restricted my learning experiences to the spiritual aspects. …

The elites misrepresent the unemployment problem

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Nigerian university graduates have become victims in a system suffering from a gross shortage of economic opportunities. Youth unemployment has reached a crisis point. One in every two Nigerian youth is either unemployed or underemployed.

Ironically, people who strolled into their first jobs three or four decades ago without breaking a sweat are quick to blame the younger generation for lacking the required quality. They use slurs like “lazy”, “half-baked” and “unemployable” to describe recent graduates.

This leaves a rhetorical question. If Nigerian graduates are now half-baked, when were they ever fully baked?

People talk a lot about how the…

The elites misrepresent the unemployment problem

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In the first part of this article, we assessed the unemployment crisis from a historical perspective. We introduced you to a hypothetical elite Nigerian family (The Boyoyo family) living the Nigerian dream and oblivious to the economic struggles of the generation that came after them. We also provided factual evidence of the current state of the Nigerian labour market and attempted to address some of the misconceptions.

What are we missing?

At the heart of the debate is that Nigerian graduates are not well equipped for the labour market. The proponents of this argument believe it’s all about skills or the lack of it.

Rarely told career development stories

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I’m a firm believer in what Nigeria has to offer the world in terms of human capital. After all, the nation’s universities and polytechnics produce over 500,000 fresh graduates annually. A lot of these graduates would go on to build solid professional careers both at home and elsewhere.

Nigeria is a country living below its potential as a nation. Even under the prevailing circumstances, the people are extremely resilient, and routinely make something out of nothing.

The reason only negative news about Nigeria grabs all the airtime is that we don’t do so well in telling our own stories.


What you can do about it

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I’m writing this mostly in the second person, imagining I’m having a monologue with my younger self. I’m speaking to that young man or woman who appears to be stranded in an economic wilderness after bagging the much-coveted university degree.

You’ve survived a tortuous journey through university under precarious financial circumstances coupled with incessant teachers’ strikes. You’ve also proudly served your nation for one full year in some remote village under horrendous living conditions.

You’ve done your part. What is left now is for your country to recognize your talent and reward your sacrifice with a job that will help…

Between cutting your losses and playing to the final whistle

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I was 18 when I read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. By this time, I was homeless and irreversibly severed from every meaningful family relationship. I slept on benches and worked as a factory hand on what was less than $1 per day at the time. Life was as hopeless and grim as it could get. There was no hope of having a decent future.

I can’t remember the circumstances that led to the discovery of Hills’ book or who recommended it. But certainly, reading that book was a transformative experience. One story stood out and…

A Poem for Nigeria

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I wish lies and propaganda could raise the dead

I wish lies can grow back limbs torn by bullets

Oh how I wish lies can numb all the pains

I wish we can say there was never a Lekki Toll Gate (it was never built)

Or perhaps, the sun never rose on the 20th of October

If lies were raw materials, we would have built one of the greatest nations on earth

The unemployment rate would be single-digit tending towards full employment

The minimum wage would be about $1500 per month

I would have told you that there are all…

From police brutality to government brutality

From Facebook #EndSARS

For 12 days, we saw a new Nigeria arising from the ashes of maladministration, gross corruption, and nepotism.

For 12 days, we saw order, accountability, and efficiency.

For 12 days, we saw how young Nigerians mobilized to run the most peaceful and effective protest ever.

For 12 days, we saw solidarity and ingenuity in a way that the ruling class never thought young people were capable of.

For 12 days, we saw that Nigeria has depths of talent the world is yet to recognize. We saw tech skills deployed. We saw organizational skills.

We also saw how over NGN7 million…

Joseph Anwana

Avid reader | Lifelong learner. Follow me @JANWANA on Twitter. Stay in touch here

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